The 2015 Annual Governor’s Awards, presented by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council and acting governor Ralph Torres, honored four outstanding individuals last week during a ceremony on Capital Hill.
In his opening remarks, Humanities Council chair Robert Hunter said, “Humanities stimulate learning and discourse…about our individual and collective human experience. Be it through public forums, publications, poetry, writing, new author’s initiative, film and video, mock trials, literacy programs, research, the preservation of historic documents or history conferences… the humanities are a great equalizer.”
Jordan’s research focused heavily on the oral histories of elderly indigenous residents and their memories of everyday life during the Japanese colonial period and war.
Pioneering businessman David Sablan was recognized for his recently published book, A Degree of Success Through Curiosity, which documents his life during the Japanese administration and illustrates the social, political and economic history of the time. Sablan’s award was in the category of Preservation of CNMI History.
Long-time educator Geraldine Dela Cruz was recognized as an Outstanding Humanities Teacher for her significant contributions to the promotion of family literacy and increasing literacy in the CNMI with her 15-year involvement in the Motheread/Fatheread program and her 40-year career as an educator.
Retired educator and longtime CNMI resident Samuel McPhetres was presented the Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award for his enormous contributions in documenting the history of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as the bureau chief of the Micronesian News Service and editor of the Micronesian Reporter. He also served as faculty at the Northern Marianas College, passing knowledge of social and political history to numerous students. He is busy these days organizing and digitizing his collection of historical papers and photos to be readily available for public use.
In honor of his award, McPhetres presented Hunter with the flag and seal of the TTPI Administration.
Held annually in October, the Governor’s Office and the NMI Humanities Council coordinate efforts to recognize those in the community who have made significant contributions to the humanities during the course of the year. The Humanities Council is a private corporation established in 1991.